Monday, September 20, 2010

Energy Use and Feminism in My Family

My aunt Blanche Stein Vision is 88 years old. She lives in a retirement building (apartments with lunches and some housekeeping provided) in Arizona. Though the daughter of very poor immigrants, she managed to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from University of Chicago. She went to law school at Columbia University. This was practically unheard-of for a woman in those days.

Later, she worked as a lawyer for the FTC: Federal Trade Commission. If you visit a model home, it may have some labels. For example, the fancy tile in the kitchen may have a sign next to it: This tile choice is an upgrade to the base price of the house. That's Blanche's work. She led the FTC project on mislabeling and truth in advertising in model homes.

She usually reads my blog, but doesn't always comment on it. Two days ago, though, she did comment.

Liked your VY blog today. When I was a real little kid we had a coal heater in the in the kitchen and was not allowed to go near it because if we touched it we could get burned, we had a coal stove for cooking, and we had an ice box that needed to have a large chunk of ice replaced in it every few days to keep the food cold. Who knew any better--but as the finances of our family improved we could move into an apartment that had all the "modern" facilities-- steam heat, a gas stove and a real refrigerator with the electrical mechanism on the top. And my mother was able to go to work. Give me convenience any time! And bless whoever invented the washing machine!

I asked her if I could use this post in my blog. She answered:

Sure, do anything you want with it -- I delight now in the "luxury" of air conditioning, heat, hot water, ice and a cooking surface all that can be summoned with the press of a button!

With much love,


To me, this story is a blending of the third-world energy use and modern energy use, and how energy use affects the life of women. And it all happened in my own family.

19th Blog Carnival of Nuclear Energy

The 19th Blog Carnival of Nuclear Energy is up at Next Big Future. Stories include: Hyperion is building at 25MW Fast Reactor at Savannah River. When the Sierra Club and the Cato Institute agree on why we don't need more capacity, Rod Adams gets suspicious about motives, as in "Hey, doesn't that mean continuing to use the old fossil plants?" Nuclear Green discusses the Molten Salt Reactor. And more, even more! Always something new at the Carnival.

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